Solar panels could be used to power a sizeable chunk of Britain’s DC electric rail network, a new report has suggested. Climate change charity 10:10 and Imperial College London’s Energy Futures Lab looked at the feasibility of using solar panels alongside the track to directly power the railway.
The report claims that 15 per cent of the commuter network in Kent, Sussex and Wessex could be powered directly by 200 small solar farms. It suggested that solar panels could also supply 6 per cent of the London Underground’s energy requirements and 20 per cent of the Merseyrail network.
The research team at 10:10 and Energy Futures Lab believe the renewable energy produced by trackside solar panels could also be supplied at a lower cost than power from the grid and “meet a significant share” of the electricity needs of rail, metro and tram networks up and down the country.